Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)
Wanted to bowl more, says Shami
CENTURION: Mohammed Shami took three vital South Africa wickets in the morning session to justify his spearhead tag on a day India needed him to be at his best. Shami ended with 4/49, his second best bowling effort away from home. But there is an unmistakable feeling that instead of going in for the kill with their most successful bowler, India suddenly took their foot off the pedal and started playing the waiting game.
Shami got the dangerous AB de Villiers with a peach of a delivery that reared form the good length area. The industrious Dean Elgar was finally undone by a short delivery from round the wicket. Quinton de Kock too was dismissed quickly but not without edges flying through the slip region in the three previous deliveries.
Shami was on a roll by then, hitting the good length and getting some shape on almost every delivery. But two overs after reducing South Africa to 163/5, he was inexplicably pulled out and not given a bowl for the next 29 overs. Identifying the phase when a bowler wants to bowl more is crucial to changing the course of a Test. Faf du Plessis recognised the same zeal in Vernon Philander and South won the Cape Town Test as a result. Shami indicated he wanted the same.
“There are some stages in front of you that you want to bowl more but the captain thinks that we should get them out quickly. So you cannot mind that but yes sometimes you do feel inside that maybe I could have got five wickets. But if you see from the team’s point of view, you will not feel like this,” said Shami after the day’s play.
“It depends on the captain when he wants to bowl you or any other bowler. It also depends on the conditions I suppose. Maybe I bowled before lunch so I couldn’t bowl immediately. So the captain might be thinking that we should bowl in rotation,” said Shami, adding that he wasn’t injured or tired when he was pulled out of the attack.